Today I wanted to write about being mindful of our bodies. Having studied mindfulness for some time now, I feel that I have discovered a new way to experience the practice. Having had ME for many years I feel this way of practicing it is particularly useful for those with chronic illness affecting the body.
Mindfulness meditation practice often focuses on the breath as a way to center ourselves and as a way to let go of worrisome thoughts, or anxiety. This can be very effective way to reduce anxiety states and as a result the practice is becoming used more and more often by western psychology. In my experience mindfulness is also a way to enhance our body’s innate healing potential. I think it is particularly useful to use the body itself as a focus for mindfulness.
So how do we cultivate mindful awareness of our bodies?
When suffering with a condition such as ME patients are often quite “spaced out” especially if they have a lot of stress. If you are quite an analytical person and you spend a lot of time thinking you can become ungrounded and “in your head”. So the first step is to “be in your body”. This is a description used by a yoga teacher that I know and means to have your energy centered and grounded-not scattered and with this brings a feeling of well being and peace. There are various activities that encourage your energy to “be in your body” some examples are: yoga, sex, dancing, walking in nature. When our energy is properly in our body we will notice a greater feeling of well being, greater awareness of body parts like arms and legs, and increased relaxation, as well as warmth in our muscles.
Once we have encouraged our energy to be in our body such as by dancing, yoga or sex, we can then return our attention to this feeling this encourages as we go through the day. Every time we do this our bodies will relax and will again be bathed with a feeling of well being.
For more information on cultivating mindful awareness of the body feel free to contact me at SarahsHolistic Shop.com